ETYM French drogue, prob. from Dutch droog; akin to Eng. dry; thus orig., dry substance, hers, plants, or wares. Related to Dry.
Any of a range of substances, natural or synthetic, administered to humans and animals as therapeutic agents: to diagnose, prevent, or treat disease, or to assist recovery from injury. Traditionally many drugs were obtained from plants or animals; some minerals also had medicinal value. Today, increasing numbers of drugs are synthesized in the laboratory.
Drugs are administered in various ways, including: orally, by injection, as a lotion or ointment, as a pessary, by inhalation, and by transdermal patch.
Drugs generally have three names. The first is the chemical name, which is often too complicated to remember. Every new drug, if it is likely to have a medical application, is given an approved (generic or non-proprietary) name, for example, by the British Pharmacopoeia Commission. Such a drug may have BP (British Pharmacopoeia); BPC (British Pharmaceutical Codex); or USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) after its name. Drugs may be marketed under their approved name, but more often they are known by the proprietary, or trade, names given to them by the manufacturing company which initially takes out a patent on their synthesis. One compound may have a large number of proprietary names. (See also drug, generic).
Something that is used as a medicine or narcotic.